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Infringement notices for breaking the telco rules

We regulate the telecommunications industry. We may give an infringement notice to a telco in some cases.

Guidelines for industry

We developed the Telecommunications (Infringement Notices) Guidelines 2022 to explain:

  • our powers to enforce regulation under the Telecommunications Act
  • what we consider before we issue an infringement notice
  • the process for paying the penalty

If we give you a notice, it will contain:

  • reasons for the infringement notice
  • the penalty amount
  • the deadline for paying the penalty

In some cases, an infringement notice is not appropriate and we will take other action.

Reasons for an infringement notice

We may give you an infringement notice if you:

Additional provisions were listed on the Telecommunications (Listed Infringement Notice Provisions) Declaration in 2022. They include provisions drawn from:

  • part 13 (Protection of Communications) of the Telecommunications Act, which sets out strict rules for carriers, carriage service providers and others in their use and disclosure of personal information
  • part 19 (Statutory Infrastructure Providers) of the Telecommunications Act, which established the Statutory Infrastructure Provider regime to ensure that all Australians can access broadband services
  • the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979
  • the Telecommunications (Service Provider – Identity Checks for Prepaid Mobile Carriage Services) Determination 2017
  • the Telecommunications (Emergency Call Service) Determination 2019.

The new provisions also include a carrier’s failure to comply with a remedial direction issued for a breach of a licence condition, as well as a carrier, service provider or other person’s failure to comply with an information gathering notice.

The exact provisions for which you may receive an infringement notice are specified in the Telecommunications (Listed Infringement Notice Provisions) Declaration 2022.

Penalty amounts

The penalty payable is determined in accordance with section 572G of the Telecommunications Act 1997 and the Telecommunications (Infringement Notice Penalties) Determination 2012, an instrument made by the Minister. 

If the penalty is paid within 28 days after the infringement notice is given or such longer period as the ACMA has allowed:

  • the ACMA cannot begin civil penalty proceedings for this matter
  • any liability for the alleged contravention is discharged

If the penalty is not paid within the timeframe, we will consider further action, which may include civil penalty proceedings.

How to request withdrawal of an infringement notice

If you believe you have not broken the rules, you can write to us within 28 days of receiving the infringement notice.

You should include any material you want us to consider when we review your request

What we report about infringement notices

We publish information on infringement notes in our Annual Reports.

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